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Mic type for race car recording - inside a large race shop?

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Leedo, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. Leedo

    Leedo Active Member

    I'd like to ask for some advice on a test recording project that I'll be very likely be tackling.

    I'd be recording the sound of a race car engine, specifically a Pro Formula Mazda (link) inside of a large race shop, on a machine called a dynamometer, or dyno for short. On a dyno, the car is stationary but the engine can be run at whatever revs you want.

    The goal of the project is to accurately capture the sound of the engine from the driver's perspective, probably in stereo but possibly in mono.

    The problem is this: I'd like to capture the sound of the engine, but with as little of the room as possible, as of course it's going to be a boomy, echoey mess.

    Ideally the dyno would be outdoors, as that would be the preferred recording environment, but that's just not logistically possible on this case.

    With that, am I correct in saying that a cardioid or hypercardioid would be the best type of mic to use?

    And also, is it even possible to minimize the sound of the 'room' in this situation?

    Thanks very much,

    PS First time poster and occasional lurker - but I've learned some things here, hopefully I can actually contribute at some point.
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The last time I was commissioned to do something similar to this I tried all sorts of mics and positioning but ended up using binaural in-ear microphones. These really did record exactly what the driver was hearing, and I kicked myself for not thinking of them from the start.

    I don't remember the exact make of mics I used, but there are several types around these days. Try these for example.

    Of course, if you want to record just the engine noise rather than what the driver hears, you may have to close-mic the engine rather than capture the overall sound field. Or you could do both and blend them at mixdown.
  3. Leedo

    Leedo Active Member

    That is a very interesting approach - I wouldn't have thought of it. I'll be checking into both concepts, thanks much for the info.
  4. DSPDiva

    DSPDiva Active Member

    I wonder if a shotgun mic would be a good idea. If you mic'd the engine with a shotgun mic, since everything coming from the sides would cancel out, would you get less of the room?
  5. Leedo

    Leedo Active Member

    Hmm, good question - I'll look into that option as well. Thanks for the reply.
  6. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    I don't think there's a lot of mechanical noise since there's no valve linkage etc., so you probably want the unique exhaust sound of a rotary. I might do a super-cardioid dynamic from head height a little behind the car and well off to the side, perhaps five feet from the nearest pipe, angled down.

    You might set up some goboes, free standing panels, to control the reverberation.

    I don't think stereo is going to help a lot, but you could do duplicate the above on the opposite side of the car.

    A shotgun mic has a really focused pattern but might be too sensitive.
  7. Leedo

    Leedo Active Member

    OK got it - thanks for the additional info.

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